BCGEU and the B.C. Government reach a tentative agreement for 29,000 public
service workers

VANCOUVER, March 29 /CNW/ - The BCGEU has concluded a tentative agreement for its 29,000 public service employees. The two year deal was reached following a marathon bargaining session during the weekend.

"This has been an exceptionally difficult round of negotiations, but the tentative agreement we are recommending to the members is reasonable given the difficult economic situation facing the province," said Darryl Walker, BCGEU president.

"Under the terms of the tentative agreement, employment security provisions have been renewed and improved. This was the number one issue for our members. Reaching the employment security package was key - we would not have signed a tentative agreement without it," said Walker.

Highlights of the deal include:

    
    -   Two-year agreement expiring March 31, 2012.
    -   No general wage increase because of the province's two year wage
        freeze, but a continuation of current temporary market adjustments
        (TMAs).
    -   Improved extended health benefits, such as hearing aids and leave for
        family illness in the case of illness or hospitalization of the
        employee's spouse or leave for care for adult dependent children.
    -   A new process to address workplace bullying.
    

The union will be holding information meetings starting the week of April 12th. Ratification votes for members will start the week of April 19th.

The 29,000 BCGEU members covered by the talks provide important services around the province. They include child protection workers, health care workers, environment officials, corrections officers and sheriffs, conservation officers, public liquor store employees, and administrative workers across the province.

Information about the agreement will be posted on the BCGEU website at www.bcgeu.ca.

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information: For further information: please contact: Brian Gardiner, BCGEU Communications at (604) 788-1492

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B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

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